President’s Rule

PM’s power to revoke President’s Rule


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Rule 12

Mains level : President’s Rule

To revoke President’s Rule, the government has used a special Section in the Union government’s Transaction of Business Rules, which allows for revocation of President’s Rule without Cabinet approval if the Prime Minister “deems it necessary”.

Rule 12

  • Rule 12 of the Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961, allows the PM to depart from laid down norms at his discretion.
  • Titled “Departure from Rules”, Rule 12 says, the Prime Minister may, in case or classes of cases permit or condone a departure from these rules, to the extent he deems necessary.
  • The Cabinet can subsequently give post-facto approval for any decision taken under Rule 12.

Under what circumstances is Rule 12 used?

  • Rule 12 is usually not used to arrive at major decisions by the government.
  • However, it has been used in matters such as the withdrawal of an office memorandum or signing of MoUs in the past.
  • The last big decision taken through the invocation of Rule 12 was re-organisation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh on October 31.
  • The proclamations issued by the President that day, dividing various districts between the two Union Territories, were issued under Rule 12.
  • The Cabinet gave post-facto approval to the same on November 20.

So, what happened in the case of Maharashtra?

  • At 5.47 am on Saturday, the notification revoking President’s Rule was published in the government gazette.
  • This indicated that the notification was actually signed by the President at some point earlier than that time.
  • At 7.50 am, the new chief minister and deputy chief minister were sworn in.

Why it’s controversial?

  • The invocation of Rule 12 appears to indicate that even top leaders of the union cabinet were not aware of the impending move.
  • Many top ministers were, in fact, out of Delhi, and were not available for a Cabinet meeting.


Explained: President’s Rule in Maharashtra

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